Available from Cambridge University Press
Right of Election:
in inhabitant householders and in the freemen
Estimated number qualified to vote:
Number of voters:
731 in 1831
3,264 (1821); 4,028 (1831)
|7 Mar. 1820||NICOLSON CALVERT|
|JAMES BROWNLOW WILLIAM CECIL, Visct. Cranborne|
|27 June 1823||THOMAS BYRON vice Cranborne, called to the Upper House||229|
|THOMAS SLINGSBY DUNCOMBE||69|
|15 June 1826||THOMAS BYRON||393|
|THOMAS SLINGSBY DUNCOMBE||393|
|William Henry Lytton Earle Bulwer||301|
|2 Aug. 1830||THOMAS SLINGSBY DUNCOMBE|
|HENRY JOHN CHETWYND TALBOT, Visct. Ingestre|
|30 Apr. 1831||THOMAS SLINGSBY DUNCOMBE||492|
|Henry John Chetwynd Talbot, Visct. Ingestre||383|
Hertford, a prosperous market town and centre of the corn and malt trades, had a reputation in the early nineteenth century for electoral independence.1 The corporation, which consisted of a mayor and nine aldermen, could make no more than three honorary freemen, and was therefore unable to impose itself on the inhabitants. The freedom was obtainable by purchase, apprenticeship or gift, and recipients were required to have been resident for 40 days before their admission. The eldest sons of freemen were customarily admitted, but had no claim as of right. Between 1818 and 1831 there were 227 admissions; and at the end of the latter year it was reckoned that the number of freemen stood at 366, of whom about one third were non-resident. Some of the residents were also inhabitant householders.2 Yet Hertford was not immune to aristocratic influence. The Whig 5th Earl Cowper, whose seat at Panshanger lay only two miles to the west, had an old interest, on which his brother Edward had sat from 1802 to 1817. He had been unsuccessfully challenged in 1812 by Lord Cranborne, the son and heir of the Tory 1st marquess of Salisbury, high steward of the borough, who aspired to dominate the county (of which he was lord lieutenant) from his residence at Hatfield House. In January 1817 Cowper retired, and Cranborne, who vacated another seat to stand for Hertford, came in unopposed. He was re-elected quietly in 1818, when he was appointed a member of the India board in the Liverpool ministry. Thereafter the Salisbury interest, of which the corporation were mostly, though not exclusively supporters, was consolidated by the acquisition of tenanted property in the borough.3 This intrusion was resented by a significant number of leading inhabitants, including several prosperous tradesmen, of whom the leader was Alderman Thomas Gripper, a corn and timber merchant with extensive business interests in the town. He had been born a Quaker, but had subsequently conformed, and a number of his political associates were practising Quakers, of whom Hertford had long been a stronghold. Dissent in general, with Congregationalists and Baptists most prominent, flourished in the borough and was a major element in independent and opposition politics.4
At the general election of 1820 there was no challenge to Cranborne and the other sitting Member, Nicolson Calvert of Hunsdon, near Ware, who had sat on the independent interest since 1802 and generally acted with the Whig opposition in the House.5 In October 1820 a requisition signed by over 50 electors for a meeting to express support for Queen Caroline was rejected by the mayor, William Squire, and an attempt to organize a general meeting with the sanction of a magistrate was abandoned in the face of alleged intimidation. The management committee, of which Weston Hatfield, the scourge of Cambridge corporation and editor of the Cambridge and Hertford Independent Press, was the secretary, contented themselves with passing resolutions declaring their support for the queen’s cause. If the local celebrations of the abandonment of the bill of pains and penalties were, in Hatfield’s words, ‘perhaps not so boisterously expressed as in many other places’, they were ‘full as sincere’. A petition in favour of restoration of Caroline’s name to the liturgy was presented to the Commons, 26 Jan. 1821.6
Inhabitants of Hertford petitioned for the abolition of slavery, 14 May 1823.7 Cranborne was removed to the Lords the following month by the death of his father, whom he succeeded as high steward as well as 2nd marquess. He put up Thomas Byron of Bayford, three miles south of Hertford, the son of a former mayor, whose wife was a daughter of the late Nathaniel Brassey, a local Quaker. Byron was also connected through his mother, Ann Iles, to the Quaker Dimsdale family, former bankers of the town, who had supplied two of its Members, 1780-1802, and whose current head was Robert, 3rd Baron Dimsdale of the Russian Empire. Byron, an anti-Catholic Tory, was reported to have his support.8 According to Francis Searle, a tallow chandler, speaking in 1826, he, on behalf of the independents, approached Rowland Alston† of Pishiobury, near Bishop’s Stortford, a Whig of advanced views, with an offer of support, but Alston made unacceptable financial stipulations.9 A report that the barrister Thomas Daniell of Little Berkhampstead, the recorder of Hertford, would stand came to nothing. The independents found a candidate in the person of Thomas Duncombe, the heir to a lucrative Yorkshire estate, who, since his abandonment of his desultory army career in 1819, had made a name for himself in London society as a dandy, womaniser and reckless gambler, with steadily mounting debts. A member of Brooks’s since 1818, he had unsuccessfully contested Pontefract in 1820. He was nominated by Searle and Jacob Canning, a tailor, but was too late in the field to have any realistic chance and retired after a day’s polling. He continued, however, to cultivate the borough, where his willingness to spend money, as well as his liberal politics gained him considerable popularity.10 Salisbury, Cowper and his son Lord Fordwich*, due to come of age in 1827, were among those who attended the inaugural dinner of the new mayor, Thomas Colbeck, 29 Sept. 1823. The poet and wit Henry Luttrell, who went with the conservative Whig county Member William Lamb of Brocket Hall, son and heir of the 1st Lord Melbourne and Cowper’s brother-in-law, claimed the credit for persuading the Cowpers not to decline the invitation, ‘thinking that, with a view to their future interests in the town, such a refusal would be inexpedient’.11 In 1824, the inhabitants petitioned the Commons for repeal of the duties on seaborne coal, the abolition of slavery and in protest against the prosecution of the Methodist missionary John Smith in Demerara;12 Byron divided with ministers on the latter issue, while Calvert voted for the opposition censure motion.
A dinner of electors purporting to be the ‘friends of Duncombe’, 1 Aug. 1825, was marked by excessive drunkenness; and the ‘respectable individuals’ who would give him the most effective support thought it expedient to disown such behaviour.13 The following month, when an early dissolution was expected, Lamb, aware that his opposition to parliamentary reform had lost him much Whig support and unwilling to spend money in a contest in view of his father’s failing health, decided to give up his seat for the county. Calvert offered in his room, and the impression of their collusion was strengthened when a requisition, which was supported by Richard Muggeridge, editor of the Herts Mercury, was got up inviting Lamb to stand for the borough. There was again an unfounded rumour that Daniell would come forward, but Byron declared his intention of seeking re-election and Duncombe confirmed his candidature. On 15 Sept., supported by Gripper, Searle, Canning and his agent Benjamin Rooke, he provided about 150 electors with a dinner, at which he declared himself to be a champion of ‘liberty and independence’ and hinted that he was prepared to rehouse any electors who were evicted for voting for him. Towards the end of the month Lamb announced his acceptance of the invitation to stand. He was at pains to allay the widespread suspicion that he was merely a locum for Fordwich and to claim the support of all classes as a local man and experienced Member of Parliament.14 His sister Lady Cowper told their brother Frederick, 22 Nov. 1825:
The corporation and all respectable people are unanimous. It is only the journeymen and those who want a row that are for Duncombe ... [He] has no real interest and can have no money, for they say he owes an amazing sum in gaming debts.15
With the dissolution postponed, electioneering ceased until Duncombe, who made a distribution of half-price coal, precipitated a general canvass in January 1826. Lady Cowper informed Frederick Lamb that Rooke had been ‘found out to have embezzled £3 or £400 of the River [Lea] Company’ and might ‘be obliged to leave Hertford’. She added:
William’s election is awkward and will be hard run. I believe he could certainly carry it if he would exert himself, but I never saw such a want of energy, or they say a worse canvasser. He never talks the people over, but takes an answer at once, always seeing things in the view of his opponents, as he did in politics, and too candid, and doing the thing by halves, and always despairing. Even Duncombe told Lady Jersey that William would lose it by his want of activity. It is a great pity now he ever embarked in it, but there is no retreating, unless some event should give him a reason for doing so. William says he has never heard one word of politics, the cry is independence, and the aim of our friends custom and advantage of any sort.16
Two weeks later it was reported in London that Duncombe was ‘quite sure’ of beating Lamb, whose heart was not in the contest. Anonymous public slurs on his unhappy marriage, which had recently ended in separation from his promiscuous and unbalanced wife, helped to persuade him in April to cut his losses and withdraw. He transferred his interest to the young Henry Lytton Bulwer*, whose mother was heiress of the Lytton property at Knebworth, and who had made a name for himself as a man of letters and active supporter of Greek independence. Bulwer stressed his local connections and professed to be ‘uninfluenced by party feeling’. He was reported to have been endorsed by Calvert and by the Whig reformer, the 20th Lord Dacre, a former county Member. According to Lady Cowper, her husband, who had of course backed Lamb, now decided to remain ‘neuter’, thinking it ‘best for his interest not to interfere’, and ‘prudent for future advantage’ to let the others ‘fight it out’. It was supposed that Bulwer had ‘small chance’ of success, but anticipated that he might ‘try a petition for bribery’.17 There had been a town meeting on slavery, 8 Feb., and its petition for abolition was presented to the Commons, 24 Feb. 1826.18
Bulwer, who had to contend with allegations that he had colluded with Lamb, took the opportunity of a meeting on the distressed state of the Lancashire manufacturing districts, 10 May 1826, to make his presence felt in the borough. Duncombe’s main battle cry was electoral independence, but he admitted his approval of the recent liberalization of the ministry, and so opened himself to accusations of political inconsistency. It was announced in the first week of May that Thomas Robert Dimsdale, who had become head of the family the previous year, would stand for Hertford at the general election after the current one. Byron, who was ostentatiously supported by Lady Salisbury, was nominated by Alderman John Moses Carter, a brewer and former mayor, while Duncombe was proposed by Gripper and seconded by Charles Maslen, a Dissenting minister. Maslen quizzed Byron on his attitude to repeal of the Test Acts, which the Dissenters had made an election issue, but received an evasive answer, and failed to make him repent of his vote on the Smith affair. Catholic relief appears not to have played much part in the election, but Byron stood by his opposition to it, claiming that it had made him very popular in the town. On subsequent days he could not get a hearing. On the evening of the penultimate day some of Duncombe’s supporters smashed windows in the Salisbury Arms, and Gripper was unseated by his horse when it was hit by a decanter thrown in retaliation. Byron and Duncombe finished level, almost 100 ahead of Bulwer, after four days of polling, in which 659 electors participated: Duncombe had 198 plumpers (52 per cent of his total). All of these received a white hat plus one pound, while those who split their votes got 10s. It was said that almost all the poor voters from the slums of Butchery Green had supported Duncombe.19 Bulwer, whose brother wrote that he ‘lost his election by letting 60 voters be decoyed from him, notwithstanding their promise to vote, and his to pay’, was reckoned to have made the same cash payments. Salisbury’s Hertford agent, George Nicholson, recorded a total expenditure of £2,111, which included many payments of a pound or 10s. to individual voters; and the marquess gave Byron assistance in the payment of his bills. Duncombe paraded the town in triumph, but Byron declined to be chaired.20
Alderman Matthias Gilbertson, a former mayor, reported to Salisbury the day after the election that
the system and the means ... [which Duncombe’s supporters] have resorted to to obtain plumpers beggars all description. That creature Maslen, called a minister of the gospel, exhorting persons to break their word and dragging them to the hustings to stamp and record their disgrace was really shocking. We should undoubtedly have maintained and I believe increased our majority yesterday morning had not many of the last 30 that were polled sworn falsely.
After a further day’s reflection, he wrote:
Now that Duncombe’s explosion has taken place and we are getting a little cool, we may ... pronounce how he succeeded, and form a pretty correct opinion by what means he obtained his plumpers, a number far exceeding anything we anticipated and to which he may attribute his election. That we had to encounter all the cant and stalking horse system of aristocratical influence, partial, overbearing and undue influence of the corporation, no small beer, no sheep’s head broth and no red herrings is nothing; they are naturally looked for, and are the constant paraphernalia of a contested election, and nearly as much made use of in one town as another and have but little effect if not bolstered up by more powerful excitements or inducements. That this election was carried by Duncombe by the gifts of those white hats decidedly effecting an influence on the voters I have not the least doubt. And whether it would be prudent to take any measures, or to collect evidence is, I think, a matter claiming consideration. I confess it appears to me that if Mr. Duncombe’s return remains unnoticed, you sanction one of the very worst proceedings, and suffer to remain on record that which will make every future election more and more disgraceful. If hats are thus to be given, the next will be a hat and a coat, and then a whole suit, and no one can say where it may end, perhaps in being disfranchised altogether.
Although Salisbury considered Byron’s failure to head the poll ‘tantamount to a defeat of the whole respectable part of the town’, he saw no point in petitioning against Duncombe, as Bulwer was ‘in the same situation with regard to hats and treating’. For the moment, he thought it best to remain ‘quiet ... letting Duncombe’s popularity subside of itself, which it will do’; but he considered it necessary to take action of some sort, for ‘if matters go on as they have done Hertford must shortly cease to be represented by the kind of men who up to this time had the honour of being chosen’. He was clear that Bulwer’s politics were ‘such as we could never cordially support’. Almost two weeks after the election Alderman John Ord, another former mayor, analyzed the election for Salisbury:
The late scenes we have witnessed are fortunately new to the borough ... We have not had opposed to us, in any great degree, the influence of money, the weight of interest, or the mere irritation of party feeling, but opposition more powerful than all: a determined spirit of insurrection gradually produced by the continued efforts of the leaders of the other party, and a cool and fixed resolution, in the lowest class of voters, to disregard gratitude for past kindness, to reject the claims of master and landlord, and to assert at all hazards their pretended rights. It was a knowledge of this which made their party so sure, and caused them so little trouble flocking to the poll, stimulating each other to acts of violence, that they might be all equally criminal and expecting by their number and union to escape individual retribution. The coals which had been distributed in the winter, the good fare, or the money promised at the time, which in fact was not more than usual, had I believe very little effect upon them: no money would have turned them from their purpose on the day of election, and it is proved no personal consideration had any weight with them. The distribution of white hats before the election did us the greatest injury: it was the badge under which they could commit disorders with impunity, as they were sure of being supported; it marked them out to each other and it showed them their strength and their power.
Ord thought that the respectable leaders of the independent party had sustained ‘greater losses than they can support’ and predicted that, being ‘alarmed at the general discredit their conduct has brought upon them’, they would ‘most likely’ ally themselves with ‘the party of Baron Dimsdale, when they may be enabled to exercise the same intemperance at less expense, and with less responsibility’. He claimed that Byron had been well supported by the town’s tradesmen, notwithstanding 60 broken promises, and observed that the ‘natural’ belief that Lamb had come forward as a locum ‘did us much harm’, while the appearance of Bulwer ‘without any real chance ... only weakened us without injuring them’. For the future
great care should now be paid to the selection of overseers and those who have any official influence over the poor, as the improper conduct of such persons has caused us much annoyance. The system of splitting houses, and of turning hay lofts into residences should be looked into. The duty of insisting upon being supported by their workmen should be strongly recommended to masters and tradesmen ... Nor is this a time in which the ingratitude and contempt of the lower class should be passed over with impunity. I cannot but feel convinced that under the unforeseen circumstances against which we have had to contend, nothing but a strong local attachment to Mr. Byron could have brought him to his present state on the poll. He ought to have been much higher, but we must be thankful it is not worse.
He considered that Alston, who a week after the election announced that he would stand at the next opportunity, ‘can have no possible chance’: ‘the party of the Grippers ... will not support him, they think him vacillating, and have no opinion of his abilities’.21
Byron’s leading supporters rallied at a dinner, 11 July 1826, when Samuel Grove Price* of Knebworth, a young barrister with a reputation as a scholar, delivered an anti-Catholic rant. A week later Gripper, Maslen, Searle, Canning, Rooke and William Pollard, a Quaker draper, were among those who dined with Duncombe to celebrate the success of ‘the honest and powerful voice of the people’ in shaking ‘the houses of Salisbury and Panshanger’. Duncombe called for parliamentary reform and the abolition of sinecures, and Maslen revealed plans for the formation of an association to protect independent electors exposed to intimidation from landlords and employers.22 Gripper and Maslen duly set up the Hertford Constitutional Association in November 1826, when they alleged that the corporation and Salisbury had victimized supporters of Duncombe, who subscribed £50 to the organization.23 Soon after the election Salisbury stepped up his purchase and leasing of borough property, and in 1828 he leased from the corporation land in Butchery Green and at the Folly, on which new cottages were erected. In June 1830 Nicholson observed that by these means he had ‘left very few persons with the influence of property’ in Hertford. He paid the rates for many of his tenants, having been assured by Nicholson that he would not thereby disqualify them from voting, and was keen to promote and demonstrate the notion that the town stood to benefit materially from its close association with him.24 Duncombe’s friends met to celebrate the anniversary of his success, 15 June 1827, when complaints of intimidation of their voters were again made. Prompted by Maslen, who had been prominent at a recent meeting of Dissenters to petition against the Test Acts, Duncombe denounced them, and he presented the petition, 18 June.25 Another petition was got up by Hertford Dissenters in February 1828, when Duncombe supported and Byron opposed repeal.26 Byron and Salisbury, who entertained the corporation at Bayford, 7 May 1827, presented the inhabitants’ anti-slavery petition the following month.27 There seems to have been no commemoration of Duncombe’s victory that year, when he erected over 50 houses on land which he had purchased in the borough.28
Although the Catholic question was aired at the normally non-political mayor’s feast in September 1828, emancipation appears to have excited little interest, and certainly no great indignation, in Hertford. Duncombe, of course, supported it, as did Byron, even though in doing so he was at odds with Salisbury.29 This contretemps evidently generated a rumour that Byron was about to vacate; and Duncombe tipped off Lady Cowper, suggesting that Fordwich should show his face at the celebration dinner, which was held under canvas in a storm of rain and hail, 2 July 1829. Fordwich, who declared that he might well stand on a future occasion, recorded in his journal, 3 July:
Went to Hertford to T. Duncombe’s dinner under the idea of Byron being about to retire. I was very well received by the canaille of the town, and should probably have come in, but the report turned out not to be true, so I must wait.30
Nicholson, who told Salisbury that ‘more confusion never prevailed on any similar occasion’, saw in Fordwich’s ‘most unwise and ill judged’ declaration a ‘wisedrawn policy of Messrs. Gripper and Co.’: he believed that they ‘would substitute Lord Fordwich for Duncombe if they could’. A month later he cited the authority of his brother Thomas, an attorney now acting for Bulwer, in support of an unlikely story that Fordwich and Duncombe had each appointed a person to ‘examine into the state of the town with reference to their objects as candidates, and this being done, to make public their determination’. Nicholson believed that neither Lord Cowper nor Lord Melbourne (as Lamb now was) had had prior knowledge of Fordwich’s intentions. He fancied that if Fordwich did stand, Bulwer, who was supported by Alderman Edward Ellis, would come forward ‘as it were in opposition to him’; but he considered that Bulwer posed no serious threat to Byron, for his analysis of the canvass book gave Byron 478, Duncombe 458 and Bulwer 316. Yet he was at pains to inform Salisbury of dissatisfaction with Byron, which he to some extent shared, among some of the leading supporters of the Hatfield House interest. He claimed in July 1829 that Alderman Henry Alington had ‘of his own head’ tried to dissuade Byron from seeking re-election; reported in August that ‘nobody believes that Byron will stand’, and detailed in October 1829 a conversation with Gilbertson, who had been critical of Byron for at least a year, and now declared that if Fordwich stood he would support him ‘as a young nobleman living in the neighbourhood, and whose family have placed us under the greatest obligations’.31 In September 1829 Gripper was elected mayor. Duncombe for once attended the inaugural dinner, at which Alston announced that he no longer intended to offer himself for the borough.32
By late April 1830, when the worsening state of the king’s health ‘made parties a little restless’, Salisbury, in consultation with Nicholson, had decided to ditch Byron, though he had not yet informed him of his intention. Ruling out neighbouring country gentlemen, they had concluded that the marquess’s interests would be best served by his bringing in ‘a man ... dependent entirely’ on his influence. Salisbury had also received an offer of co-operation from Bulwer, to which he was disposed to accede to the extent of promising him ‘secondary support’ once his own nominee was safe. Through Dimsdale, about to leave for the continent, the young Sir Culling Smith* of Bedwell Park, who had recently succeeded to the family baronetcy and estates, expressed an interest in standing if Byron did not; but Salisbury and Nicholson deemed him unacceptable. Nicholson pressed his employer to respond positively to Bulwer’s approach and to pay Dimsdale and Carter the courtesy of giving them early notice of his plans:
We shall never stand better than we do at present, or, rather, a more favourable opportunity shall never be presented which shall prove more likely to bring the borough to a state of quiet. I have now an opportunity of dovetailng Lord Cowper’s interest with yours, in the assistance which I shall be able to get from my brother, and of fastening tight upon Baron Dimsdale, without any sacrifice on the part of your Lordship. Baron Dimsdale will in his absence authorize me by power of attorney, as far as his interest may be directed to the object in question, to have it exerted in support of your lordship’s friend.
Although Salisbury warned Nicholson not to get carried away, be ‘too sanguine of success’ or ‘commit yourself to your brother with regard to Lord Cowper’s interest’, he made a favourable response to Bulwer’s offer. He stressed ‘the absolute necessity’ of their understanding ‘remaining secret till the time of election’, so that ‘it may not be possible for any of my tenants to plead previous engagements or ignorance of the intention to ask plumpers’. At Salisbury’s insistence, Nicholson secured a written undertaking from Dimsdale that he would support any Hatfield House candidate except Byron, and that he had no personal designs on a seat for Hertford. Nicholson further explained to the marquess:
I have never mentioned to my brother the effect ... his acting, if we see it necessary, with Bulwer may have upon Lord Cowper’s interest. Mr. Bulwer is supposed to have taken the place of Lord Melbourne, and Lord Melbourne had Lord Cowper’s interest; and before my brother took his station with Mr. Bulwer, he ascertained that it was consistent with his past exertions for Lord Melbourne to support Bulwer.
He noted a rumour that the independents were thinking of starting Robert Otway Cave, Member for Leicester, and rashly forecast that Duncombe, who ‘sees nobody, and nobody either hears or sees anything of him’, was ‘prepared for a retreat’.33
A month later it emerged that Salisbury’s intended replacement for Byron was his young cousin Lord Ingestre, the son of the 2nd Earl Talbot and a serving naval officer, who had taken a dim view of Catholic emancipation. Ingestre accepted the offer with the proviso that an invitation for him to stand for his native Staffordshire would take priority (none was forthcoming); and on the basis that the cost of the election would be met by Salisbury, and the annual expenses by himself.34 At this time Nicholson reported ‘an impression’ given to him that Bulwer who, as he and Salisbury knew, had a ‘promise of a gratuitous seat’ for Wilton on Lord Pembroke’s interest, would not stand at Hertford if there was a contest:
It seems he had hoped, taking it for granted that Byron would not stand, that he should be allowed to walk over the course ... If he should fail ... he would have to sustain the expenses which the contest would have brought upon him, and he is not in a situation very conveniently to meet them; but if he were successful, his mother would pay them.
Nicholson intervened with his brother to quash a move started by Ellis to petition Salisbury to make Bulwer his nominee, considering that the marquess had ‘conceded to Bulwer all that could be required’. On the subject of the London voters, he thought little was to be gained by spending money on them, as they were ‘a bruised reed’ who ‘always make for the winning side’ when they arrived in the borough.35 Anticipating Duncombe’s celebration dinner on 15 June 1830, which was ‘looked forward to by some as an epoch, which is to give rise to an influx of popular feeling in his favour’, Nicholson suggested stealing his thunder by distributing 10s. each to about 300 electors on the same day. To avoid any legal repercussions, he thought it could be portrayed as the act of Byron, ‘as if he meant to continue on the ground’. Salisbury would have none of this:
It would be the commencement of a system of treating, which would lead to very great expense, besides the injurious consequences of such a system to my interest in future. My influence in Hertford must be founded upon the permanent advantages which the town receives from its connection with me ... The interest now stands better than it has ever done, and it has so risen under a system directly opposed to that which you ... recommend. If we were driven to the wall, as a last expedient money might be distributed in the way you propose, or rather under the name of an invitation to dinner, but, although it might be necessary to do it to gain an election, it is also necessary to recollect that from that moment I must withdraw from any exertion of influence. The place would become like St. Albans, and it would no longer be worth the consideration of any respectable individual.
Nicholson was suitably abashed, though he observed that the customary relief donations were ‘so much interwoven with the cause as to be almost inseparable from it’. He was anxious that Ingestre’s candidature should be kept a secret for as long as possible, but he was worried by the untoward activity of Bulwer’s leading supporters, who were not ‘so quiet as one might wish’, though he accepted that ‘we cannot prescribe to them what they shall do’ Bulwer himself was in Hertford on 10 June, but was reported to have been talked out of his idea of ‘assembling his club, which ... comprises 150 voters’.36 At his dinner, when 198 plum puddings, symbolizing the plumpers of 1826, were on the menu, Duncombe, who was attended by two French noblemen, told his audience that the need for reform in both church and state was more urgent than ever. Nicholson assured Salisbury that the event had been a flop, with the number of guests having been swollen with people hastily rounded up from ‘highways and lanes’: ‘as the day advanced much chagrin was evinced on the countenance of Gripper and his immediate associates’. Nicholson continued to fret at the reappearance of Bulwer, who was ‘ill-advised, or deaf to good advice’, and recommended an early move to secure the support of Dimsdale’s maiden aunt, Anne, who had a number of voting tenants. He declined Bulwer’s request for an interview ‘because he did not define the grounds’ on which he requested it.37 As the king’s life ebbed away in the last week of June, Salisbury confirmed to Byron that Ingestre was to be his replacement, but swore him to continued secrecy for the moment. Rumours of the planned change were now rife, and it became necessary to let Alington, Gilbertson, Carter and Miss Dimsdale into the secret. On 25 June 1830, hours before the king’s death, Bulwer told Salisbury that he felt obliged to begin an immediate preliminary canvass to prevent Duncombe from stealing a march on him, adding that ‘I will postpone any steps which I may afterwards take for a few days or a week, if in so doing I shall be of any convenience to your lordship’s candidate’.38
Duncombe promoted electoral independence and substantial reform, Bulwer declared his support for moderate reform and Ingestre dealt almost entirely in conventional platitudes. A ‘Poor Man’s Fund’ was opened by the independents to relieve the victims of landlord oppression. There was little disorder in the approach to the election, but 40 special constables were sworn in as a precaution. In mid-July 1830 Nicholson reported that the canvass indicated that Ingestre would poll about 490, that he had ‘clearly split upwards of 50 of Duncombe’s former plumpers’ and that Bulwer had divided about 35. He went on:
Bulwer is losing ground with us in personal regard, and that interest which we had wished to entertain for his success has much diminished. His friends have become personally hostile to our party. I have marked a few of them, and their future proceedings will be vigilantly watched. Such conduct answers one good purpose (and so far it may be encouraged) - our friends stick close to us, and to one another. But a rupture must be avoided. I will try to avoid steering too close to the wind.
Under pressure from Ingestre’s committee, he had agreed to treat ‘all our friends’, 14 July, though he was ‘not clear that the treating did any good’.39 On the hustings, 31 July (a Saturday), Ingestre, quizzed by John Gripper as to his attitude to aristocratic nomination of Members, would only repeat his earlier statement that he was opposed to ‘radical reform’, by which he meant universal suffrage. He professed support for a cautious approach to the abolition of slavery. After a show of hands for Bulwer and Duncombe, the poll was arranged to begin on Monday, 2 Aug. 1830. That morning, however, Bulwer announced his retirement from the contest, admitting that he had been returned for Wilton on 30 July. There was a late bid to persuade the Dissenter and reformer John George Fordham of Royston to stand with Duncombe, but he declined. (Had he done so, it was said that Captain Wellesley, a stepson of Salisbury’s sister, would have been put up with Ingestre). Duncombe and Ingestre accordingly walked over. Nicholson’s accounts indicate an expenditure since 1827 of £4,505. Bulwer’s conduct provoked allegations that he had been acting in collusion with the Hatfield House interest, and had either been paid to stand down or had come forward as a specious reformer, seeking splits with Duncombe, in the hope of drawing off enough of his plumpers to defeat him, with the aid of split votes from Ingestre’s pledged voters. Bulwer, lying in his teeth, denied any subterfuge, and would admit only to an error of judgement in not divulging his return for Wilton, which he put down to lack of time.40 Yet his private correspondence with Ingestre’s brother and Salisbury, which he was anxious to keep secret, confirmed their prior understanding and that he would have gone to the poll, hoping to defeat Duncombe and his ‘rascally mob’, notwithstanding his return for Wilton, had he not been deserted at the death by most of his angry committee, who apparently had had no previous inkling of it. He alleged that they had been largely influenced by the ‘decided treachery’ of Thomas Nicholson (he absolved George from any blame), who had ‘the support of another interest in view’. He claimed to have tried up to the last minute to rally support, even going to meet his London voters on the road to urge them not to support the Gripper party, but that he had then decided to bale out to avoid saddling Ingestre and Salisbury with the expense of a pointless contest. He promised Salisbury that whether or not he stood on a future occasion, which depended on his success in allaying ‘the popular clamour’, ‘any interest I can give against Mr. Duncombe shall be given’. The marquess, who accepted his explanation, assured him that ‘it was always the intention to throw our weight into your seat as soon as Ingestre was secure’, though he confessed to having been ‘surprised at the hostile feeling of part of your committee’. Salisbury was warned by Ingestre’s barrister brother John Talbot that he was being ‘grossly deceived’ by his own agents and that ‘the Duncombe party will produce a second man at the next election’, which would constitute a real threat if such a candidate ‘could secure Bulwer’s votes’. Public denials of the stories circulating about Bulwer’s conduct were issued, and Ingestre met Bulwer in London to ‘concert any further measures that may be necessary’. Bulwer wished to ‘abstain from a paper warfare which will only be keeping up the excitement’, and suggested that Salisbury too should let things calm down:
The present fear now seems to be among those people who had promised Lord Ingestre and myself, since they suppose the books to have been seen, or who, contrary to other promises, had pledged themselves to give me a plumper. If they find that they do not suffer from any mark of your Lordship’s displeasure, their soreness towards me, and their belief in the circumstance, will most probably wear away. Indeed I hear now that my former friends are coming round, and under this idea I have not attacked many of them.41
Nothing came of a projected dinner to rally the supporters of Bulwer, who was not again heard of as a candidate at Hertford in this period. (Byron dissuaded him from attending the new mayor’s inaugural dinner in September.) Duncombe’s friends dined together, 26 Aug. 1830, when Fordham and George Rew, a Hertford gentleman, were among the speakers, and Lord Glengall accused Bulwer of having accepted money from Salisbury to stand down; he was subsequently forced to make a public retraction of the slur.42 At a dinner of over 200 electors to celebrate his return, 24 Nov., Ingestre indicated his hostility to the Grey ministry, of which Duncombe was of course an enthusiastic supporter. Dimsdale, Price, Nicholson and his partner Philip Longmore, the town clerk, attended and spoke.43 Petitions for the abolition of slavery were presented to the Commons, 25 Nov. 1830, 17 Feb., 28 Mar. 1831.44
At the end of January 1831 Salisbury, who before Christmas had distributed through the corporation food, blankets and clothing to the poor women of Hertford, asked the duke of Wellington whether he should attempt to undermine the planned town meeting to petition for parliamentary reform by pointing out that any practical scheme would almost certainly have the effect of disfranchising the poorest voters. His boast that he could prevent any petition from being carried proved to be an empty one, for the meeting, 4 Feb., petitioned unanimously for reform and for repeal of the taxes on coals, soap and candles. The speakers for reform included Muggeridge, now a firm supporter of Duncombe, who also addressed the meeting, Rew, and the Rev. Thomas Lloyd, rector of Sacombe. The petitions were presented, 17 Feb.45 Nicholson thought it important that Ingestre should attend the borough meeting on the Grey ministry’s reform bill, at which he was sure there would be ‘a division of sentiment’. He reported to Salisbury that there were two requisitions in circulation, one in favour of the bill, promoted by tenants of £10 houses, and one against it, emanating from ‘those who rent less’. Nothing seems to have come of the latter, and at the crowded meeting of 18 Mar. 1831, which Ingestre did not attend, Duncombe, Gripper, Rew and Lloyd were prominent advocates of the petition in support of the bill.46 In the House, Duncombe supported the measure and Ingestre opposed it. Salisbury and Nicholson were worried by the possibility that agitation by the inhabitants of Ware to be included in the new Hertford constituency might be favourably received by the government, and were prepared if necessary to appeal against the Hertford rate, which, taken at face value, seriously underestimated the number of £10 houses in the borough and its related parishes.47
Just after the second reading of the reform bill Nicholson, while discounting a story that Fordham was about to come forward as a reformer, told Salisbury that ‘something is brooding about Fordwich’, who was now sitting for Canterbury. He suspected that the Cowpers were being egged on by Lloyd to put him up, but did not think they would do so, even though he believed that Fordwich would obtain many second votes from Hatfield House supporters. He nevertheless complained to the marquess that ‘we are a little ricketty here’ and that ‘many of our friends go about with long faces’. He urged Salisbury to give short shrift to those of his supporters who, being disposed to ‘funk the contest’, were saying that Ingestre should be replaced by a neighbouring gentleman, ‘a man who understands trade’:
I am sure I have guns enough for any campaign, but they require to be well planted. The enemy will flank your lordship’s tenantry. Care must be taken of them. The reform question is a new difficulty, and a formidable one.
On 28 Mar. 1831 he reported:
Our opponents are moving about as if an immediate dissolution were certain. I have been ... endeavouring to make a contrary impression. I think the feeling is to get up the people, and ascertain their strength for two candidates, and not that they have come to any conviction that it will be so early as they assert. Duncombe will certainly be stronger than ever he was, and have supporters in the reform he never could have calculated upon. A strong hand must be put upon those whom we ought to control, for they are all reformers to a man, and they think the best part of the bill is that which disfranchises the lower class of voters and extends the limits of the borough. As to the return of Lord Ingestre, I have no misgiving; but I wish our friends would not croak as they do.
He did not believe that any of their 35 leading supporters would ‘wholly desert us’, but thought that no more than 20 would promise plumpers, while some would wait to see who might start, other than the sitting Members:
The greatest apprehension arises where a second candidate takes away any part of the more respectable men, because attached to them are labourers, who by giving a vote to either of the candidates supported by their masters, will contend that their wishes are so far met, and not value the preponderance of feeling which might be expressed in favour of any particular candidate.
A fortnight later he informed Salisbury that their opponents boasted of having obtained 200 signatures for a requisition for ‘a third man’; but he was sure that if it was intended for Levi Ames of Ayot St. Lawrence it would not be successful.48 On 22 Apr. 1831, anticipating the dissolution which was confirmed later that day, Nicholson urged Salisbury to have Ingestre make an immediate appearance. He was alarmed by Dimsdale’s reported ‘predilection for another man, with Ingestre, on our side’:
The present is not the time to try the experiment. If our opponents start two, they will divide their strength, which once broken will operate in our favour on some future occasion, and not endanger Lord Ingestre’s return on the present.
He was confident of making Dimsdale see ‘sense’, especially as his wife was already canvassing for Ingestre alone. Reports that Melbourne’s brother, George Lamb*, or Henry Ward† of Gilston Park would stand with Duncombe proved to be false; but Alston went to Hertford and declared his candidature. After only a day’s canvass, however, he withdrew, on the pretext that so many voters were already pledged that success would be impossible without considerable expenditure. He was immediately replaced by John Currie of Essendon, the head of a London distillery business, who had hitherto played no public part in local politics: it was alleged by the Hatfield House interest that Alston, whose reforming credentials were much older and more convincing, had been ditched because Currie had offered Duncombe better financial terms.49 Grey asked Cowper to use his influence to support Currie, though Duncombe was of course his ‘first object’. Ingestre’s supporters, who were initially optimistic, made much of the argument that the bill as it stood would disfranchise most of the poorer voters. Fifty-nine special constables were enrolled, but there was no serious trouble. Ingestre had a narrow lead over Currie at the close of the first day; but, amid demonstrations of great enthusiasm for the bill, he was rapidly overtaken on the second and gave up, to the delight of ministerialists in London. Nicholson’s account book recorded an expenditure of £3,469.50
Ingestre was returned for Armagh, and on the advice of Carter he issued an address to Hertford, 25 May 1831, stating that his seat in Parliament would enable him to look after local interests, and blaming his defeat on a ‘very considerable number’ of broken promises. Carter, asked by Salisbury to assess Ingestre’s chances at the next election, replied:
I really am of opinion that a very strong interest exists in favour of his lordship. At the same time I must be frank ... and state as my own conviction that a very different course must be pursued before the day of trial or I shall still have great doubts of ultimate success. In the first place ... we have active and spirited opponents; they are always at work. To defeat their plans it is absolutely necessary that our own friends should be active also, and I am decidedly of opinion that to encourage exertions and keep alive a feeling of interest in our cause, Lord Ingestre ought to avail himself of the first opportunity of going round and personally thanking those electors who voted for him. This is always expected, but unfortunately was altogether neglected at the previous election and which I know created a great deal of conversation unfavourable to his lordship. I am also of opinion that with different arrangements, much less money might be expended and still the cause would be better promoted. In fact, without wishing to enter into too much detail, it was not altogether reform that lost Lord Ingestre the election. There were very many conspiring causes which had tended to create prejudice and which it was morally impossible to get over.51
Three weeks after the election Gripper and a number of those who had been active for Duncombe since his first appearance in Hertford, including the Quakers Pollard, Richard Shillitoe, a surgeon, Henry Squire, a miller, and Joseph May, a chemist, held a public meeting to air their grievance over the alleged alienation by previous corporations of common lands held of the crown for the benefit of the poor. Rew and Muggeridge were also present, as were Gripper’s son and brother. A committee was formed and a subscription opened, and in September 1831 an information against the corporation was filed in chancery. The plaintiffs dropped the case in 1835, but not before the proceedings had cost the corporation almost £900, to raise which it had to sell some of the disputed property.52
In the House, 27 July 1831, when Duncombe tried to have Aldborough disfranchised, Lord Stormont asserted that Hertford was
the most notoriously corrupt place in the kingdom. No man who does not make up his mind to spend a large sum of money has a chance of obtaining a seat for it. It is necessary to build houses in the town, and to go down in a carriage and spend a little money, and perhaps, to bring down a friend to spend a little more.
Duncombe did not respond, but Calvert observed that during his time as Member for Hertford he had been beholden to no patron and had spent not a shilling on bribery. Stormont’s pointed retort was that Calvert did not say that votes had not been bought there since 1826. Salisbury’s agents had, meanwhile, paid their voters; and Nicholson advised the marquess to abandon his idea of excusing their plumpers from any arrears of rent, which would irritate ‘others who might owe nothing but who did us the same service’. He suggested that there would be no harm in letting them know that their ‘considerate course’ was appreciated and that arrears would ‘not be pressed’ for the time being.53 On 21 Sept. 1831 Duncombe presented the petition of 35 electors, tenants of Salisbury, complaining that Nicholson and Longmore had served them with eviction notices for voting against Ingestre at the last election. Ingestre, who led the defence, said that the petition had been got up secretively. He maintained that of Salisbury’s 196 tenants, 45 had voted for himself, 56 for Duncombe and 15 for Currie, with the remainder splitting their votes; and therefore that if Salisbury had been motivated by electioneering considerations alone, 71 notices would have been served. He alleged that in fact almost all the petitioners were in arrears, some of them seriously so, and that in these circumstances Salisbury, a kind and generous landlord, was entitled to punish them for their abuse of his indulgence. He accused Duncombe of promising Salisbury’s tenants during the election to pay their rents, of trying to convince them that when the reform bill passed everything would be so cheap that those now in £6 houses would be able to afford £10 ones, and of himself evicting the only two of his own tenants who had ever voted against him. Currie denied having bribed for votes, and claimed that 10s. tickets had been distributed in the livery of Hatfield House.54 On 6 Aug. 1832 Duncombe alleged in the House that Salisbury had compelled his Hertford tenants to take houses at 14 days’ notice of eviction, on pain of a £50 forfeit. At the meeting to petition the Lords to pass the reform bill, 27 Sept. 1831, Carter, seconded by Alderman John Ayres, the new mayor, produced an alternative petition calling on the peers to modify the bill. He was forced by Muggeridge on a technicality to put it as a formal amendment, for which only eight hands were raised. The meeting then passed an address urging ministers not to resign if the measure was defeated in the Lords and to take whatever steps were necessary to carry it. Carter and Nicholson, who told Salisbury that the meeting, though ‘noisy’, ‘fell very short in numbers, compared with the last’, circulated the counter-petition and secured about 200 signatures from ‘all or nearly all the persons of respectability in the town’. It was presented by Salisbury, 4 Oct. 1831, when Cowper brought up the reformers’ petition.55
Early in 1832 a club, known as the Union, was set up to rally and consolidate the Hatfield House interest.56 In May that year the reformers began a ‘convivial society’, which it was proposed at its second meeting, 16 May, to transmogrify into a political union. However, on the restoration of the Grey ministry to power and the evaporation of the peers’ resistance to the bill, this plan was abandoned, and the ‘Independent Convivial Reform Society’, chaired by Gripper and boasting an initial membership of 300 electors, was constituted. The passage of the bill was celebrated in Hertford with a lavish reform festival and dinner for the poor, 4 July 1832.57 By the Boundary Act, the constituency was enlarged to include the town, which gave it a population of 5,860 and a registered electorate of 700.58 At the 1832 general election Salisbury, determined to rid himself of Duncombe, put up Ingestre and Lord Mahon*. Duncombe’s partner was John Eden Spalding, Currie having retired. Salisbury’s nominees were successful at the poll, but on the reformers’ petition the election was declared void.59 A select committee was appointed to investigate the blatant bribery and corruption revealed by the election committee’s report and, after the lapse in the Lords of a bill to extend the franchise to the £10 householders of Ware, Hoddesdon, Broxbourne and seven other parishes, no new writ was issued until the dissolution in December 1834. Duncombe, who was said to have spent £40,000 on Hertford elections, sold his property in the borough to Dimsdale in 1833, and went on to sit for Finsbury as a Radical. In 1835, Cowper reasserted his interest, and Salisbury had thereafter to settle for one seat.60
Author: David R. Fisher
- 1. Pigot’s Commercial Dir. (1823-4), 354; Oldfield, Rep. Hist. (1816), iv. 31.
- 2. PP (1831-2), xxxvi. 532; (1835), xxvi. 2885-6.
- 3. V. Rowe, ‘Hertford Borough Bill of 1834’, PH, xi (1992), 91, 99-100; PP (1835), xxvi. 2890.
- 4. V. Rowe, ‘Quaker Presence in Hertford in 19th Cent.’, Jnl. of Friends’ Hist. Soc. lv (1983-9), 81-83; F. O’Gorman, Patrons, Voters, and Parties, 263, 361-2.
- 5. County Herald, 11 Mar. 1820.
- 6. Cambridge and Hertford Independent Press, 21, 28 Oct., 18 Nov.; County Herald, 28 Oct. 1820; CJ, lxxvi. 13.
- 7. County Herald, 17 May 1823; CJ, lxxviii. 308.
- 8. Bucks. Chron. 28 June; County Herald, 28 June 1823.
- 9. Herts Mercury, 22 July 1826.
- 10. Hertford Mus. HETFM 4434.1, handbills, 17, 25 June; The Times, 30 June; County Herald, 5 July 1823; Rowe, PH, xi. 100; and Jnl. of Friends’ Hist. Soc. lv. 89.
- 11. Add. 51594, Luttrell to Holland, 28 Sept. .
- 12. CJ, lxxix. 76, 148, 446.
- 13. Herts Mercury, 6, 13 Aug. 1825.
- 14. Ibid. 3, 10, 17, 24 Sept., 1 Oct. 1825; Torrens, Melbourne, i. 207-11.
- 15. Add. 45550, f. 202.
- 16. Herts Mercury, 21, 28 Jan., 4, 11, 18 Feb., 29 Apr. 1826; Add. 45551, f. 3; Lady Palmerston Letters, 146-8.
- 17. Add. 45551, ff. 7, 29, 31; Torrens, i. 213-14; Keele Univ. Lib. Sneyd mss SC8/79.
- 18. Herts Mercury, 11 Feb. 1826; CJ, lxxxi. 101.
- 19. Herts Mercury, 6, 13, 20, 27 May, 3, 10, 17 June; County Herald, 20, 27 May, 17 June 1826; PP (1833), ix. 472; Rowe, PH, xi. 100.
- 20. Earl Lytton, Life of Lord Lytton, ii. 125; Hatfield House mss 2M/Gen., Nicholson’s acct. bk., Byron to Salisbury, 19 Aug. 1826 and n.d. .
- 21. Hatfield House mss 2M/Gen., Gilbertson to Salisbury, 15, 18 June, replies, 17,  June, Ord to Salisbury, 26 June; Herts Mercury, 24 June 1826.
- 22. Herts Mercury, 15, 22 July 1826.
- 23. Ibid. 18, 25 Nov. 1826.; Rowe, Jnl. of Friends’ Hist. Soc. lv. 88-89.
- 24. Hatfield House mss 2M, Nicholson to Salisbury, 6 Sept., 23 Nov. 1826, 22 Feb., 25 June, 5 July, 8, 13 Oct. 1827, 5, 28 Jan., 20 Feb., 2 Mar. 1828, 21 Apr., 2 Oct. 1829, 7 Feb., 12 June 1830; 2M/Gen., Lawrence to same, 10 Sept. 1828; Rowe, Jnl. of Friends’ Hist. Soc. lv. 85 and PH, xi. 100.
- 25. Herts Mercury, 26 May, 2, 16 June 1827; CJ, lxxxii. 574.
- 26. Herts Mercury, 16 Feb. 1828; CJ, lxxxiii. 90.
- 27. Herts Mercury, 10 May, 14, 21 June 1828; CJ, lxxxiii. 426; LJ, lx. 548.
- 28. Herts Mercury, 29 Nov. 1828; PP (1833), ix. 321.
- 29. Herts Mercury, 4 Oct. 1828, 21 Mar. 1829; Hatfield House mss 2M/Gen., Byron to Salisbury, 19 Mar. 1829.
- 30. Herts Mercury, 27 June, 4 July 1829; Life and Corresp. of Thomas Slingsby Duncombe ed. T.H. Duncombe, i. 111; Beds. RO, Wrest Park mss L31/419.
- 31. Hatfield House mss 2M, Nicholson to Salisbury, 7 July, 7 Aug., 12 Oct. 1829.
- 32. Herts Mercury, 3 Oct. 1829.
- 33. Hatfield House mss 2M, Nicholson to Salisbury, 25, 27-29 Apr., reply [28 Apr.], Salisbury to Bulwer [28 Apr.], minute of Dimsdale’s conversation [29 Apr.] 1830.
- 34. Ibid. 2M/Gen., Ingestre to Salisbury, 29 May [5 June] 1830.
- 35. Ibid. 2M, Nicholson to Salisbury, 27 May [May] 1830.
- 36. Ibid. 2M, same to same, 10-13 June, reply, 10 June 1830.
- 37. Herts Mercury, 19 June; Hatfield House mss 2M, Nicholson to Salisbury, 16 [c. 21] June 1830.
- 38. Hatfield House mss 2M/Gen., Carter to Byron, 22 June, Salisbury to same , 24, 25 June, replies, 23-26 June, Salisbury to Gilbertson, 25 June, Bulwer to Salisbury, 25 June 1830.
- 39. Herts Mercury, 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 July; Hertford Mus. HETFM 4434.1, handbill, 5 July; Herts. Archives, Hertford corporation recs. 24/149; Hatfield House mss 2M, Nicholson to Salisbury , 21 July 1830.
- 40. Herts Mercury, 7 Aug.; J.C. Pettman, ‘Election of 1830’, Herts. P and P, xiii (1973), 30-40; Duncombe Life and Corresp. i. 117; Grey mss, Howick jnl. 31 July .
- 41. Hatfield House mss 2M/Gen., Bulwer to Talbot, 2 Aug., to Salisbury, 4, 10 Aug., reply, 5 Aug., Talbot to Salisbury [c. 4 Aug.] 1830.
- 42. Hatfield House mss 2M, Nicholson to Salisbury, 24 Sept.; Herts Mercury, 28 Aug., 11 Sept. 1830.
- 43. Herts Mercury, 27 Nov. 1830.
- 44. CJ, lxxxvi. 132, 264, 445.
- 45. Herts Mercury, 25 Dec. 1830; Wellington mss WP1/ 1173/40; County Herald, 5 Feb. 1831; CJ, lxxxvi. 264.
- 46. Hatfield House mss 2M, Nicholson to Salisbury, 13 Mar.; County Herald, 19 Mar. 1831; CJ, lxxxvi. 435.
- 47. Hatfield House mss 2M, Nicholson to Salisbury, 20, 21, 23, 27 Mar. 1831.
- 48. Ibid. 2M, Nicholson to Salisbury, 26-28 Mar., 13 Apr. 1831.
- 49. Ibid. 2M, Nicholson to Salisbury, 22, 23 Apr.; County Herald, 30 Apr.; The Times, 30 Apr.; Hertford Mus. HETFM 4434.1, handbills, 22-30 Apr. 1831.
- 50. Herts. Archives, Panshanger mss 49, Grey to Cowper, 25 Apr.; Hatfield House mss 2M/Gen., Dimsdale to Salisbury, 22 Apr., Kimpton to same, 24 Apr.; Hertford corporation recs. 24/174; County Chron. 3 May; Creevey mss, Creevey to Miss Ord, 30 Apr. 1831; Pettman, ‘Election of 1831’, Herts. P and P, xiv (174), 60-65.
- 51. Hatfield House mss 2M/Gen., Carter to Salisbury, 18, 26 May; Hertford Mus. HETFM 4434.1, Ingestre’s address, 25 May 1831.
- 52. Rowe, Jnl. of Friends’ Hist. Soc. lv. 80-87; County Herald, 21 May; Hatfield House mss 2M/Gen., Carter to Salisbury, 18 May; 2M, Nicholson to same, 25 May 1831.
- 53. Hatfield House mss 2M, Nicholson to Salisbury, 25 May 1831.
- 54. County Press, 27 Sept.; Bucks Gazette, 1 Oct. 1831.
- 55. Hatfield House mss 2M, Nicholson to Salisbury, 26, 28 Sept.; 2M/Gen., Carter to same, 1 Oct.; County Herald, 1 Oct.; County Press, 4 Oct. 1831; LJ, lxiii. 1045, 1055.
- 56. PP (1833), ix. 55.
- 57. Herts Mercury, 12, 19, 26 May, 2, 9, 16 June, 7 July; County Herald, 7 July 1832; Pettman, Herts. P and P, xiv. 6-72.
- 58. PP (1831-2), xxxviii. 243-5.
- 59. County Press, 28 July 1832; Berks. RO, Pusey mss D/Ebp C1/18, 40; Croker Pprs. ii. 196; Arbuthnot Corresp. 172; Greville Mems. ii. 324.
- 60. Rowe, PH, xi. 88-107; N. Gash, Politics in Age of Peel, 206-8; Wellington Pol. Corresp. 123-4, 162, 187, 208, 210-11.